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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press



Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Noviye Izvestia

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Obshchaya Gazeta

Krasnaya Zvezda

Komomolskaya Pravda



At the Russian-American consultations in Moscow on missile defense and strategic offensive armaments on Wednesday, the American side stated that the USA by November would like to "work out ways of withdrawing from the 1972 ABM Treaty". If Russia does not agree to bury the Treaty together with the USA, the Americans will do it without its consent. The story examines major results of the consultations. (1,2, Vremya MN, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3)

The financial crisis has hit Argentina. The International Monetary Fund intends to release it $5 billion and later another $3 billion if the country follows its instructions. Paradoxically, this Latin American crisis can only benefit Russia. The story says why. (2, Kommersant Daily, 5)

Emergency Situations Ministry Sergei Shoigu, who Wednesday inspected the housing construction project in flood-stricken Lensk, was displeased at a slow pace of work. He strongly doubted that it would be completed on time. The story describes the minister's visit and his tough tone in conversations with local administrators(2, Kommersant Daily, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

According to General Staff Chief Anatoly Kvashnin, the post of Deputy Paratroopers Commander of Peace-Keeping Force has been abolished. From now on, all peace-keeping operations will be done by the Ground Forces. The story reveals the essence of Kvashnin's directive. (2)

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton Wednesday visited the Nuclear Energy Ministry for talks on missile defense. A priority topic for discussion was the Russian-American program of utilizing weapons-grade plutonium. The story examines results of the talks. (2, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Incident. Seventy-four soldiers Wednesday fled from their military unit stationed in the Samara region. The Defense Ministry has confirmed the fact. Brief. (3)

World celebrity French film star Brijit Bardou (Sp. ?) has sent a letter to Mayor Yury Luzhkov asking him to cancel a Portuguese bull fight (corrida) scheduled in Moscow for September 8-9. The story reveals the content of the letter. (3)

Saratov Regional Information Minister Yury Sanberg Wednesday sent a letter to Rector of Saratov State University with a request to conduct tests of his subordinates to see whether they know the rules of the Russian language. The story comments on the measure. (3)

The story features several interesting encounters of President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he visited Veliky Novgorod. (4, Kommersant Daily, 2, Vremya MN, 1,3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, Trud, 2)

The 5th International Auto-Show is expected to open in Moscow today. The so-called people's car "Mishka" will be displayed there for the first time. The story describes the event, its sponsors and participants. (4, Kommersant Daily, 1,4, Vremya Novostei, 1, Vremya MN, 1,3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskva Supplement, 4,5)

After the collapse of communism, the Russian Orthodox Church has obtained not only churches but also land on which they are built. The process of handing over land to the Church will proceed at a faster pace in the near future. The story comments on the issue. (4, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Starting Aug. 23, Russian and Georgian travelers may cross the Military-Georgian Road without visas. The story examines a new rule. (4)

The Anti-Monopoly Ministry Wednesday instituted criminal proceedings against the "Unified Energy Systems" (UES) monopoly. The story examines the case. (5, Kommersant Daily, 4)

The " UES" leadership Wednesday stated that the company had worked out proposals on forming a committee on reforming the electrical energy sector, which will be considered at the "UES" Board of Directors' session scheduled for Aug. 31. The story examines several duties of the future committee. (5, Kommersant Daily, 4)

The State Fishery Committee Collegium Wednesday held a session to discuss Yevgeny Nazdratenko's brainchild -- the concept of development of the fishery sector up to the year 2010--rather than political issues linked up to the current Russian-Japanese conflict due to jurisdiction over the Kuril Island bio-resources.The story examines the concept. (5)

The exchange of stock of RAO and GMK "Norilsk Nickel" has completed at last, as a result of which GMK has become a full-fledged parential company that will determine the position of the whole holding. The story describes the new holding.(5, Kommersant Daily, 5, Vremya MN, 4)

The Cabinet today will discuss drafts of 14 federal purpose -oriented programs. The story examines mechanisms of purpose-oriented funding. (5)

The Justice Ministry has imposed a new customs procedure of importing foreign-made autos by official dealers, who have lost the former customs benefits. The story examiners the novelty. (6)

Gazprom head Alexei Miller Wednesday during his meeting with Chuvashia's President Nikolai Fyodorov agreed to increase the gas limit by 600 million cubic meters, which is significant in the light of upcoming winter and the local presidential elections in December. The story focuses on results of their negotiations. (6)

Jordan's King Abdalla II (Sp.?) is reported to arrive in Moscow for an official visit on Aug. 27. The brief describes the aim of the visit. (10)

"The Encyclopaedia of Russian-American Relations in the 18th-20th Centuries" will appear soon in Moscow bookshops.One of its authors Prof. Eduard Ivanyan, Editor-in-Chief of the USA-Canada: Economics, Politics, Culture" magazine, shared his impressions about the book. Brief. (10)


Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko Wednesday presented CB's own program of reforming the banking system, which will be submitted to the government already this month. The story looks at its major provisions.

Colonel Oleg Alkayev, former chief of the Minsk No.1 Pre-Trial Detention Center and head of the special group for executing the death penalty, in an interview to "Belarussian Business Paper" confirmed the authenticity of previously published information about the disappearance of highly-regarded policy-makers and businessmen, who supported the opposition. The story comments on Alkayev's statement.

Former Editor-in-Chief of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Vitaly Tretyakov, on Wednesday said he had registered 9 new publications (their names are given) in the Justice Ministry and created the Nezavisimaya Publishing Group. The story examines Tretyakov's plans.

The story describes a new conflict between Aeroflot's administration and the labor union of aviation specialists.

Ukraine's State Property Fund on Wednesday announced a privatization competition for AvtoZAZ or Zaporozhsky Auto Plant. This will be Ukraine's second attempt to sell the enterprise. The story examines the terms of the competition.

The Economic Development and the Energy ministries are discussing a draft decree, according to which Alfa Eko will deliver to Cuba 2 million tons of oil a year within the framework of the inter-government agreement. The story comments on the document, saying what Russia and Cuba gain from it.

The National de Paris Bank of Switzerland on Wednesday filed a suit in St. Petersburg's Arbitration Court against the Farmakon company, which is accused of gross violations of shareholders' rights. The story examines the conflict.

Rosenergoartom on Wednesday came up with an initiative to create the Administrator of the Trading System of the Wholesale Electricity Market of the Single Energy System of Russia. In an interview Rosenergoatom spokesman Igor Redkin reveals the essence of the initiative.

The story describes a new unprecedented method invented by the Central Moscow Depositary to struggle with its competitor — the Panorama company.

The American Federal Reserve System for the 7th time this year has upgraded the interest rate by 0.25 percent age points. The story comments on the measure.

The Russian budget in 2002 plans to sell gold and diamonds from Gokhran to the tune of 20.3 billion rubles., said a top Gokhran official. Brief.

Germany's Continental AG company has struck a deal on the purchase of 26 percent of stock of the Moscow Tire Plant. Brief.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The Central Election Commission is working on amendments to the Law on the Presidential Elections, which will be submitted to the State Duma in November. The story notes that the commission believes that the president should be a member of a political party.

The U.S. Congress Research Service has presented a report on conventional armaments deliveries to developing countries in 2000. The story focuses on figures illustrating Russian and American deliveries.

The government is putting the finishing touches to the federal purpose-oriented program to reform the defense-industrial complex for the period 2001-2006. The seven-volume secret document was approved July 27 and in September it will be submitted to President Vladimir Putin for signing. The story examines the document.

Noviye Izvestia

The story describes several changes inside the building of the Interior Ministry, which has undergone a personnel reshuffle recently.

According to deputy head of the State Duma Budget Committee Mikhail Zadornov, the former Finance Minister, the draft budget-2002 nearly doubles expenditure on the maintenance of the state apparatus. The story gives figures to illustrate the point, noting that for the Putin administration this is likely to be the essence of reforming the state service. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The State Duma is expected to pass in September (in second reading) the package of documents linked to judicial reform. Nikolai Naumovich, head of the Presidium of the Inter-Republican Collegium of Lawyers, speaks about the expediency of such reform, particularly of its new provisions.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Chelyabinsk law-enforcement officers Wednesday arrested an irresponsible policeman, who on Sunday accidentally killed three passersby. The story describes how it happened.

A report features four domestic furniture factories that are successfully competing with their Western counterparts.

The banknotes and coins of the euro, the new currency of the 12 countries of the Economic and Currency Union, will be put into circulation on Jan. 1, 2002. The story examines the fate of the euro in Belarus and Russia. Also covered in Soyuz Supplement.

The State Council at a session on Aug. 29 will listen to a report entitled "The Education Policy of Russia Today" prepared by a working group with Karelian Prime Minister Sergei Katanandov as its head. Katanandov is also a member of the State Council Presidium. In an interview, a member of the working group Viktor Sadovnichy, Rector of Moscow State University, examines the report, focusing on its controversial points. Also covered in Soyuz Supplement.

About 100,000 Africans were educated in higher schools of the former Soviet Union, mainly in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. And they took home about 10,000 Russian wives (all former U.S.S.R. immigrants in Africa are called Russians). The story highlights several Africans who graduated from Soviet institutes and universities. Also covered in Soyuz Supplement.

Obshchaya Gazeta

The Southern Federal District in the near future will be redivided to form an additional one — the Caucasian District — that will comprise all the national republics of the North Caucasus. The story examines the aim of the measure.

The Inter-Departmental Commission representing the Natural Resources Ministry, the State Fishery Committee and the Academy of Sciences has completed its work on the Sakhalin shelf to see how unique gray whales that have entered the Red Book of Rare Animals and Plants have managed to survive in the oil-polluted waters of the Sakhalin Bay. The story looks at the commission's sad conclusions.

The State Duma Health Care and Sports Committee has received a draft of the federal law concerning the patients' rights. The document has been drafted by the Russian Medical Association. The League of the Protection of Patients has harshly criticized the document. League head Alexander Saversky explained why.

Starting Sept. 1, a new system of marking alcohol products with protective signs will be imposed and also a new scheme of excise payments. The story describes the present and future situation of the alcohol market.

The Saratov region this year is expected to gather a very rich grain harvest — 5 million tons — which will yield 5 billion rubles to the local budget. The story tries to answer the question of what farmers will get for their work?

Former NTV head Yevgeny Kiselyov, now TV-6 director-general, harshly criticizes TV-Tsentr director-general Oleg Poptsov's fabricated pronouncements (in his interview in OG No.31) about the "Kiselyov NTV."

Krasnaya Zvezda

President Vladimir Putin on July 27 adopted the Marine Doctrine of Russia up to the Year 2020. In an interview Rear-Admiral Lev Sidorenko, head of the Marine Science Committee of the Navy, and Mikhail Moskovenko, aide to the Navy Supreme Commander, speak about the aims of the document and about its specific features.

The full text is printed of "The Marine Doctrine of the Russian Federation for the Period up to the Year 2020."

Komomolskaya Pravda

Artist Nikas Safronov has painted a portrait of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma at the request of Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin. In an interview the artist speaks about this portrait, which President Vladimir Putin will present to Kuchma today.

The famous Nizhny Novgorod Fair will take place in early September, and its program includes the All-Russia Scientific-Industrial Forum "United Russia." In an interview Vladimir Bessarab, director-general of the Nizhny Novgorod Fair company, talks about the significance of the forum.

A report examines the state of domestic footwear factories, which over the past two years have increased their output almost by 35 percent. One in every six Russians wears shoes made by domestic footwear factories.

Patriarch Alexy II has come out against a Portuguese bullfight (corrida) scheduled for Sept. 8-9 in Moscow. The story cites letters to the Patriarch by corrida organizers and his reply. Also covered in Moskva Supplement.

The government early this month adopted a federal program entitled "Encouraging Tolerant Attitude and Measures to Prevent Extremism in Russian Society." The story reveals the essence of the document.

Rumors are circulating that the TV-6 channel is conducting secret talks with a view to purchasing the license to show scandalous Western TV serial "Zamochnaya Skvazhina" (Keyhole). The story clarifies the situation.


Sibal Group is trying to include the Minsk Auto Plant, or MAZ, into its holding and has received support from the Russian government. The plan for MAZ privatization will be available late August. If the deal takes place, Sibal will buy control over 30 percent of the Russian heavy-trucks market for $50 million.

The government may revive the practice of releasing additional quotas on oil export. Only a year ago bureaucrats said that such practice was vicious, because it stimulated corruption. The first claimant to the additional quota is the Alfa-Eko trading company, which may get back its status of operator on oil delivery to Cuba.

Sakhalin Energy, an operator of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, has got into a conflict with the government by refusing to give the Economic Development Ministry full information about its activities. The story reveals the essence of the conflict.

The Russian budget-2002 presupposes a sale of gold and diamonds from Gokhran to the tune of 20.3 billion rubles ($691 million). The brief explains the need for the measure.

Will former Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant (KrAZ) head Anatoly Bykov retain control over this enterprise? Eight specialists share their views on the issue.

A story comments on the Sibneft's decision to release $612 million as dividends.

The International Monetary Fund last week published a regular annual review of the American economy. IMF specialists stated their negative response to President George W. Bush's program to cut taxes, gave a pessimistic appraisal of the dollar position and doubted the fulfillment of several points of social reform. The story examines the IMF review.

In the first seven months of this year, the revenues from privatization and governance of state property were overgraded, which was, as usual, due to the successful performance of the Vyetsovpetro enterprise. A story gives figures to illustrate the point.

The government today is expected to discuss a purpose-oriented program of reforming the judicial system that has been drafted by the presidential commission headed by Dmitry Kozak. A story examines its major points, focusing on budget spending on it.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin talks about domestic strategy and tactics to be used in the next several years to draw external loans.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The International Monetary Fund decided to release Argentina $8 billion in order to help it evade a default. Argentina may receive part of the money — $5 billion — as soon as the IMF approves a new credit program, which will be discussed early next month.

The Moscow city retail book market has at last interested big players, who intend to establish control over it. Three new market participants (their names are given) will appear before the end of this year.

The Central Moscow Depository has presented its small share in the capital of the Panorama registrar to 20 private persons — PARTAD leaders and several registrars. Now Panorama adversaries will struggle with it "from within" as co-owners.

Transneft has submitted to the government documents on the Kharyaga-Usa oil pipeline project, which is supposed to be accomplished within the framework of the second stage of the Baltic Pipeline System.

According to Reuters, the Swiss trading company Crown Resources is launching its business in the United States. Its new affiliate Crown Resources USA will concentrate on aluminum trade.

Ukraine and Russia before the beginning of 2002 intend to sign an agreement on restructuring Ukraine's gas debt to Russia. Working groups from both countries are drafting the principles and terms of restructuring.

Federal Energy Commission head Georgy Kutovoi, who has long been in conflict with Unified Energy Systems head Anatoly Chubais, has launched a new attack on the energy holding — the commission is insisting on abolishing the Center of Treaties and Settlements of the energy wholesale market and on creating a new market administrator. This threatens UES with losing control over financial flows exceeding $2 billion.

The Khabarovsk Dalavia aviation company that liked the Tu-214 plane, has already bought the only serial model, and after a month of exploitation Dalavia signed an agreement with the Financial Leasing Company on the delivery of another six such jets.

The Moscow network of gas filling stations, working under the BP trade mark, will soon have a new owner — the British Sibir Energy company is buying a blocking package of stock of Petrol Komplex (operator of the network).